UH-OH’S IN PARADISE / SLY EUGENE: Demo: Split: CD-R

So is Uh-Oh’s In Paradise the project of Uh-Oh in the way Slash’s Snakepit is pretty much Slash’s deal or is it just a misspelling? If so, I would suggest Uh-Oh ditch the bongo player, ‘cause that shit is annoying and he doesn’t really need the awful keyboards or whatever it is making that shrill “EEEE” sound either. This lonely Midwestern punk singer-songwriter should do himself a favor and just strum his guitar while singing his songs and cut out all the extra shit. The songs ain’t bad. They’re often self-deprecating and funny. For instance, when I saw there was a song called “Blue Balls” I thought, that damn well better be about blue balls and not just some clever title trickery. Well, it wasn’t exactly the direct noun but I was satisfied with its placement in a song about being brokenhearted and not scoring. Sly Eugene has a much stronger voice, a better recording, and less of the horrible keyboard and bongos (unfortunately, they both come in on track eleven, “Care Free”). His second song is Billy Bragg’s “To Have and to Have Not.” It’s strummed acoustically like a traditional folk song, which is cool to hear after years of appreciating Bragg’s version with its plugged-in and reverbed-out electric guitar. Otherwise, like Uh-Oh’s In Paradise, you get a sampling of songs from a talented young songwriter. Sly plays a mean harmonica, to boot. I’m not saying that this is great—the bongos severely hamper all listenability—but if a demo is supposed to show potential, it’s certainly here. I hope they stick with it and I hope they get out of LaFontaine, Indiana, too.

 –Craven Rock (Joe Savarino)